London Jewish Forum elects first female co-chair

Ziff and Bowman elected to lead London Jewish Forum


New LJF co-chairs Amanda Bowman and Michael Ziff

The London Jewish Forum has appointed Michael Ziff and Amanda Bowman as its new co-chairs.

Unanimously elected by the LJF board of trustees this week, Bowman and Ziff have already assumed their posts.

Both stood in the Board of Deputies presidential election earlier this year, with Bowman coming in second place to new president Phil Rosenberg.

Outgoing co-chairs Adrian Cohen and Andrew Gilbert decided to step down after their election as Vice Presidents of the BoD and will be working with Ziff and Bowman to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

The first woman to lead LJF, Bowman’s appointment comes hot on the heels of criticism of the BoD for electing a male top table.

She said “I can’t help but bring my perspective of a Jewish woman that is London born and bred. Incidentally, our trustee board is equally split between women and men; something I took into consideration when I applied for the role.”

A Hampstead Synagogue member, Bowman headed up the BoD’s defence division, which works to combat antisemitism and promote Jewish rights in the UK. She said she looked forward to “taking the LJF into the next phase of its development”.

Speaking after her appointment, she added: "Adrian and Andrew have dedicated their energy and expertise to build LJF into a powerful advocate for the capital’s Jewish community, campaigning and influencing change in Parliament, City Hall and London borough councils. During their tenure, they successfully navigated LJF through three distinct mayoral administrations in London, working with Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, and Sadiq Khan.”

Ziff, a treasurer of the BoD and the Maccabi GB president said that Cohen and Gilbert had “built on LJF's work in a remarkable way”.

The new co-chair stated, “Their efforts, encompassing all religious, cultural, and political perspectives, have given a voice to Jewish Londoners in the vibrant city they call home. Amanda and I are committed to continuing this vital work, ensuring our communities are heard.”

“With about half of the UK's Jewish population living in and around London, our advocacy for Jewish Londoners is crucial.”

Andrew Gilbert told the JC, “Amanda Bowman and Michael Ziff bring decades of communal experience and have the skill, expertise and talent to take London Jewish Forum to even greater success.

“Adrian Cohen and I have been working on London Jewish Forum for over 15 years and built up engagement that proved itself in responding to the pandemic, antisemitism, health and helping to deliver Kosher meals in schools,” Gilbert added.

A joint venture of the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, LJF works to promote Jewish life in the capital.

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